Sunday, September 13, 2020

Serendipity

The new neighbors across  the way and the new neighbor  who coud not build on the "unperkable" property, and instead, put in a dock for 6 his six figure boat with  two 100 HP outboards makes weekends a bit noisier than usual.  I do not begrudge them their  weekends and holidays and perhaps we also were noisier when we first moved  here having visits with the grandchildren, but I am older now and would like a more peaceful neighborhood.  All of our quiet neighbors have left for retirement communities and a younger crowd is moving in.  This crotchety old one is going to have to accept the motocycle, skidoo,  large motoboat noise along with that of weekend lawmowers and leaf blowers, I guess.

It was noisy on the river this Sunday while I was weeding.  I was in my front yard and the noise on the river was muffled and blocked  by the house.  Hubby,  on the other  hand, felt it was time to  mow the lawn!  There were several hours of  THAT noise and then suddenly he was way up by the driveway and I had peace and calm once again.  Amazing how body tension disappates  when all is calm.

I could hear my natural neighbors once again.  I heard a woodpecker making some call.  I heard the song of an unusual bird  and wish I was able to find it.  Birds are migrating and we never know what is coming through this month.  

My face was covered in sweat with sweat drops falling off my nose as I put down the clippers and got  my camera.   I sighed as the quiet  of  the  woods settled  in.  I was on my knees taking a photo of a very small gray tree frog that I had carefully avoided  while weeding earlier.  He was about the size of  my fingernail. Then in the quiet I heard an unusual sound.  

It was a very close whoosh-whoosh-whoosh.  I looked toward the garage wondering if  hubby was in there and had turned on some fan that had trouble starting.   It was an odd quiet sound and I just knew it was mechanical.  Then a shadow  crossed over me and as I looked up a  large bald eagle flew 12 to 15 feet over  my head and was crossing the lawn heading toward our gate and other trees at the front of the yard.  

Yes, I was too much in awe of  his prescence to  turn  the camera on him fast enough.  His flight was so quiet that you would only have heard it when there was no other noise aroundIt reminded me of the very quiet flight of the barred  owl  that we had unintentionally followed down the river on our second canoe  trip  the other day.  These birds of prey are certainly most stealthy.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Life Is Too Damn Complicated

My first advice for the day is to not order expensive European chocolate over the Internet.  I know, you have probably never considered that luxury.  Hershey's Company has made it very difficult to find something not overly sweet but creamy and chocolaty in the USA.  They have been able to manipulate what comes into this country to compete with their overly sweet candy.  But in the time of COVID I decided I needed a fancy reward.  It tasted fine...BUT!!





Several people commented to my last post about their complicated life with passwords.  I decided to take a photo (heavily blurred) of my MANY passwords lists.  I keep them on spreadsheets.  One spreadsheet is titled SHOPPING/BILL PAYING/INVESTMENTS.  Another is titled COMPUTER HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE  (i.e. router, laptop, wifi...)  I also have photography, travel, and subscription spreadsheets with passwords.

This might give you a clue as to why I do not change them very often, but instead, try to make them complicated.

I had to log into a government server the other day for my husband's evaluation of some grant work.  That site required at least one lower case letter, at least one upper case letter, at least one number, and one character.  But it also had to be twelve characters in length!  I really wish we could implement safe biological scans soon.

Here are the many pages of stuff I try to maintain:


I have some sympathy for those who are not as well-organized. People, like my husband, find this technological world a nightmare.  This world is not for the weak of heart or mind! 

Oh, then you also have to remember the passwords to access the spreadsheet files on your computer!!

Thursday, September 03, 2020

"A computer hacker is a computer expert who uses their technical knowledge to overcome a problem"...right!

It all begins with just one creep from Russia with too much time and not enough money. Somehow Hubby's email got hacked. The first time in decades, so I guess we should count ourselves lucky. No bank accounts or other emails or friends' emails seemed to be impacted.  Then, being the good person that I am, I went in and changed my two email passwords as a precaution.  (I did not change the password for the email I use for this blog...but I must admit I rarely check it!)  The result of all this careful tying up of loose ends was that I got logged out of everything each day.  Blogger, Facebook, three emails...etc.  I worked my way back by re-entering or in some cases changing those email passwords again, but I am too stupid to make sure the interface I am using keeps me logged in because I check the "keep me logged in" box and I still have to re-enter the next day.  At least a drop-down box asks me to save the passwords...each and every time....drop, drop, drop.


I actually have two personas on my PC.  My hidden one for Blogger privacy and my other one for the real world.  Yes, it is all way too complicated for an elder world.  Thus, it has taken me some days to be brave enough to log in here.

I did not get logged out of bank accounts or doctors' portals which is good!

Because I am a slow elder and cannot really understand the difference between Google and Microsoft and why I need passwords for those, it has taken me days working to try to get this all straightened out once again on my computer and I was not the one hacked!   I am not sure that I have completed my work, but I am here at Blogger once again!  (I have lots of blog reading to do.)

There is a bright side to every storm front and that was we got phone calls from friends we hadn't heard from in decades!!  (How can they be friends if we do not keep in touch you may ask?  Well, when you have lived a long life you leave friends like breadcrumbs as you move around)  Hubby actually had a week full of long phone calls with old pals as we caught up on their lives.  I think his (fake email) call for help had many worried due to the real issues with Corvid19.  It was almost like being able to travel about once again.

I was involved in some of the calls as both of our cell phones and landline could be busy at the same time.  Two of the callers asked if we were Republicans?  I am not sure why they thought this had to do with anything, but I explained that I was not and would not talk politics with them if they felt that was not a good thing.  They dropped the subject and we went on to other issues!

I know so many nice people and some of my FB friends have said the same for them knowing nice people who support Drump.  I am not saying I am dismayed by conservatives...as I am liberal on some issues and conservative on others.  I am dismayed by friends who are The Donald supporters because our current leader is a disease...not an ideology.

I do sometimes wonder if challenges such as computer problems become more important because we are so isolated these days and feel even more so when cannot connect electronically.  

Well, now I need to go write about our long canoe trip the other day on my other blog.




Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Beginning of a New Season



Above is the completed new patio with the teak gazebo (turned into an arbor) donated by our neighbors.  This was taken before the solar lights and the flower pots I need to add.

I have been taping the Convention via Cable.  I do not need to see all the ads and PBS seems to have too much talking before the speeches.  Therefore, I tape and watch at breakfast the next day.  I can fast forward through lots of advertisements which really shows how much money CNN (and other networks) make on this!

I know that it is all ritual and programming and well-crafted timing and allotment of time to those who have paid their dues.  But it is the way of politics. Trading and bartering and the Dems are the big-party umbrella of varied people who have lots of issues they want to be addressed.  I just hope that the far left can be patient with the changes they are demanding and have willingness to compromise.

I will probably not watch the GOP convention as I have seen the guest line-up and most of those people are either from the upper-middle class and have no history of serving their country or helping their countrymen.  They are mostly scandal headliners who got in the news for their extreme behavior or behavior not normal for an average citizen.  It will be a convention of hate and not vision or hope.  

This afternoon since the weather has cooled we will go out for a canoe paddle in an area that we have not visited via water.  I hope to get some later afternoon photos of wildlife or scenery and I hope you will enjoy my sharing on my other blog.  Hubby probably hopes to catch fish.  We have not gone out much because the parks and boat ramps have been closed due to the virus and the weather has been too hot and humid to sit in a slow-moving canoe.

Restrictions on life are not going to change anytime soon.  Colleges are now realizing that Americans are neither sheep nor passive when it comes to restricting their social behavior.  We are a spoiled lot.  It has been drilled into us about our rights and science has become so politicized that common data and facts no longer penetrate the beer fogged brains of the young.  They are also angry that their youth will be restricted.  They are shortly facing adulthood and feel it is their right to party these few years they have.  Besides they will not be the ones with inflamed organs or facing death.  Have you ever met a twenty-something who felt death was possible?

I have tried to get back into an exercise program and that process has been fraught with both success and failure.  For instance, I am VERY good a finding excuses to postpone the effort!  I do feel better (if sorer) after my exercise, but I still do not like it.

Currently reading the book "Things That Make White People Uncomfortable" by the NFL player, Michael Bennett.  It is rambling but reasonably well written so must have undergone some editing.  He confirms everything I have felt about both the NCAA and the NFL.  I am speed reading it since I am not a football fan and have not been for decades, but I want to know how he sees societal change and what he wants to do.

Well, my coffee is now cold.  So going to get out of pajamas and into canoe clothes.  Hope you set aside some time today to enjoy...just enjoy.


Friday, August 14, 2020

Are You Getting Enough Water?

The world goes around. The seasons change. I am fully aware this will continue even when I die and after I die.  There is nothing special about a human that stops the movement of the universe.  

My days are filled with less in the way of successes or progress or something to be proud of.  I cook and then I eat what I cook.  Pandemic or not, old white ladies must have our food.  I admit that I am eating far more vegetables because I refuse to throw out good food.  People are starving, you know!



Beets and fennel for roasting.




If you think you have the worst of it these days please watch this 12-minute PBS report on a desperate journey following people who REALLY have the worst of it this year.  I guarantee you will be very thankful.

I have completed my request for an absentee ballot.  Hubby is driving it up to the election office to drop off since we can no longer depend on secure and speedy mail delivery.  He will park outside the election office and phone from his car and they will come out to pick up the request.  We can vote fairly early and there are election boxes to put your ballot into.  We have quite a few spread across our county.

One of the counties to the north of us just shut down all their testing sites due to questions on the protocol they were using.  Everyone who was tested in the last two weeks must now get tested again! 

have put in a request to see a specialist for my ongoing cough/allergy issue.  It has not gotten worse but has not gotten better.  I don't know if I can meet directly.

A TV doctor did say today that a child getting a serious Covid illness or dying from Covid is pretty rare, like getting struck by lightning or hit by a car.  He did not mention that the child would be standing out in the middle of a thunderstorm or in the middle of the street to actually validate this comparison to going to an enclosed classroom every day.

Well, I must go and fold the clean sheets.  I love having clean sheets on the bed!  I am so thankful that I can do that, and the water flow to my washer is phenomenal, thank you very much!

Friday, August 07, 2020

Boxes

I was trying to create a mental image of what is happening in my little world.  The Corona pandemic has put us in boxes. Some are big boxes and some are tiny boxes.  The boxes I leap into have high walls even if they are larger than the box I just left.  No matter how high I leap to bravely land in the next box, I cannot see the horizon or even check out the box thoroughly before I land like the timid house mouse I have become.  I will not be able to see the horizon for a year or more.

Hubby and I ate out TWICE this week.  The first venue was a card table on a patio of the restaurant at least ten feet from any other table.  The second venue was a picnic table on the lawn of the restaurant also far from other tables and with canvas on the side to prevent those on either side from sending their breath our way.  Disposable menus, masked staff, and one-way doors in and out were the rule.  I felt reasonably safe.  I have reached the time in my life where I feel this venture is a bit necessary or I will accept being a hermit permanently.  We used alcohol gel on hands before touching utensils and glasses and then washed when we got home and tried not to touch our faces.  I did eat the french fries with a fork and then used my fingers toward the end.

I live in Trump country and most of the people I encounter think this is all too much carefulness (nonsense), which means I have to be even MORE careful.  I will NEVER understand how science became the enemy.

My daughter and her family drove down to the Carolinas to spend a week with friends and a week in a rental house on the beach last week.  She left the dog for us to watch.  Below nice and clean after I gave him a bath in the sink.


When daughter and family return on Sunday to get the dog I will be cautious about making the visit short and not inviting them inside for refreshment.  If they are OK in 14 days, I may drive up for a visit....maybe.  My daughter said she felt safer in a house that they rented...not sharing an elevator, not sharing a hallway, not needing a restaurant or sharing a swimming pool with anyone but the family they are close to.  She was in a much larger box for 10 days that I have encountered...but still a box!

Regarding Isaias., my daughter's vacation was denied only one day due to rain.  They were able to pool swim and beach walk and it has certainly been a wonderful trip for them.  Here in our area, we also had no trees down and missed the three tornadoes that were just miles away!  No flooding, but one leak in the roof above the upstairs bathroom!  Now not sure if that was wind-driven and not a problem or if we need to inspect the roof.


As an update from my last post, my friend from Scotland who IM's me weekly through FB revealed that he is indeed a "trans."  I thought our messages had been somewhat odd and while I playfully teased him about wearing red spangles, I am so glad I did not mess up and embarrass him or me by saying something stupid!  I asked a mutual friend and she told me he came out a little over a year ago.  I am sure he is terrified of his decision...especially in conservative Glasgow!  I then immediately Googled information on this, because I have not a clue how not to say something unknowingly mean or non-constructive.  I feel painfully for him as he is in his 40s and alone.  So hoping he lives a good and full life.

Planning on staying in the "home" box in the coming week, although I may go out food shopping.  I can order it in, but sometimes my list misses stuff as I start to cook---like my cornmeal.  Where in the heck did that go?

Hope all of my readers are finding their boxes well-cushioned and full of views of green grass and views of summer and a tiny window in the cardboard to see the future.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

No One Gives Ideas on Handling the Somewhat Odd parts of Life



My husband seems to find an excuse to run an errand at least once a day.  Home confinement drives him crazy as he is a people person.  I am not.  I like people well enough, but unfortunately, I like them better across the Internet or through an email.  I think I fall short in the friendliness skill area.  I find I spend a bit more time on Facebook visiting others virtually as they handle the pandemic.

Friko asked if we could go out.  Our state is one that shut down early and has been able to maintain a flat line with few upticks.  Therefore, our stores are open, our restaurants are open as long as the food is served outside and tables are at half capacity, our doctors and dentists are accepting appointments if you are feeling it necessary.  Other retail outlets are also open.  We are required to wear masks in all indoor spaces and wear masks when we cannot distance outside.  We can now drive more than 100 miles from home and the few states to the north of us will let us in!!  I used hand sanitizer on myself and all over the car handles, etc. when I get home.

I still place the mail in a box by the door and then later spray with alcohol before I open it.  It may be a useless precaution, but we are dealing with life and death here.  I wipe down the wine bottles when I pull them out of the cooler for use and sometimes the boxes of food depending on how I feel.

We do not take trips yet, except that one to the historic city I wrote about earlier.  We got out in the canoe and the motor boat...but even those have been delayed due to the horrendous 90 degree days here.

I mentioned Facebook and wanted to write about two friends that seem to be messaging me quite often with rather long talks back and forth.  I am not really close to either of these people.  I met them at my son's wedding years ago and have not seen them personally since.  One is a former CIA person who now works for the emergency services in his state and the other is a young man who works on computer tech stuff near Glasgow, Scotland.  They both are in their early 40's and not married.  While we only talk about things like gardening or in the case of my Scottish friend, how he wants to dress up when he can finally get out and celebrate at a nearby bar... I do often wonder why they message an old lady like me.  They both have parents they are close to because I see the posts on FB.  They both have expressed a wish to find that "someone special" so maybe they are thinking I may know some single girls...which I actually do!  But cannot imagine how in this time and distance I could work out something.

Anyway, I cannot help but wonder if there was no pandemic, would I be juggling this unusual virtual friendship?  Life is funny and odd but, man, if I could hook these very nice men up, I would!!